Reading

In recent years, cultural commentators have sounded the alarm about the dire state of reading in America. Americans are not reading enough, they say, or reading the right books, in the right way. In this book, Alan Jacobs argues that, contrary to the doomsayers, reading is alive and well in America. There are millions of devoted readers supporting hundreds of enormous bookstores and online booksellers. Oprah's Book Club is hugely influential, and a recent NEA survey reveals an actual uptick in the reading of literary fiction. Jacobs's interactions with his students and the readers of his own books, however, suggest that many readers lack confidence; they wonder whether they are reading well, with proper focus and attentiveness, with due discretion and discernment. Many have absorbed the puritanical message that reading is, first and foremost, good for you--the intellectual equivalent of eating your Brussels sprouts. For such people, indeed for all readers, Jacobs offers some simple, powerful, and much needed advice: read at whim, read what gives you delight, and do so without shame, whether it be Stephen King or the King James Version of the Bible. In contrast to the more methodical approach of Mortimer Adler's classic How to Read a Book (1940), Jacobs offers an insightful, accessible, and playfully irreverent guide for aspiring readers. Each chapter focuses on one aspect of approaching literary fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, and the book explores everything from the invention of silent reading, reading responsively, rereading, and reading on electronic devices. Invitingly written, with equal measures of wit and erudition, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction will appeal to all readers, whether they be novices looking for direction or old hands seeking to recapture the pleasures of reading they first experienced as children.
This bestselling book provides indispensable tools and strategies for explicit, systematic phonics instruction in K-3. Teachers learn effective ways to build students' decoding skills by teaching letter-sound relationships, blending, word building, multisyllabic decoding, fluency, and more. The volume is packed with engaging classroom activities, many specific examples, and research-based explanations. It offers a complete phonics assessment and clear guidelines for sequencing instruction to give every student a strong foundation for reading. More than 30 reproducible forms and word lists are included in the appendices. Purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials in a convenient 8 1/2" x 11" size and find a wealth of supplemental teaching resources.
 New to This Edition*Six additional chapters covering key topics, including assessment, phonemic awareness, orthography, and automaticity.*A complete phonics assessment with administering and scoring guidelines.*Downloadable forms and word lists, plus a companion website with rich supplemental resources, including word/syllable cards, assessment tools, and illustrated stories featuring target words, which teachers can project or print for classroom use.*More classroom examples and "Your Turn" activities, as well as expanded word lists.

See also Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition: Robust Vocabulary Instruction and Creating Robust Vocabulary: Frequently Asked Questions and Extended Examples, by Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown, and Linda Kucan, which provide essential tools for K-12 vocabulary instruction.

 
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